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ALIGNING THE VET SYSTEM AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES WITH THE HELP OF EFFECTIVE LABOUR MARKET FORECASTING (VET-EDS)

Labour market initiatives are an important part of regional and local development strategies. Since improving the links between the VET system and the world of work constitutes one of the main challenges, VET policy needs to be better aligned with economic development strategies. To this end, reliable and targeted information on the current and future developments in the labour market is needed. Traditionally, regional and local labour market observatories provide such labour market intelligence, but the recent trends show that they are increasingly expected to fulfil tasks going beyond mere data provision and analysis. As they are becoming actively involved in the development initiatives, they emerge as interpreters, evaluators and mediators in their region or locality. However, often they still miss the skills or tools necessary for carrying out these new tasks. Therefore, based on the experiences of successfully aligning VET policy and economic development strategies, a Toolkit will be created which will help labour market observatories to tailor their forecasting activities to the needs of VET actors and economic development audiences in their particular region or locality.

Start date: 1 September 2014, finish date: 30 August 2016

Activities

On 6 May, an international workshop took place in Bilbao where good practice examples from seven participating regions were presented. They covered a particular aspect of the process of aligning strategies for VET and regional development:

  • Role of intermediaries in the matching of labour market supply and demand (The Federal State of Hesse in Germany) – Download
  • Establishing a comprehensive labour market monitoring system (Sk å ne Region in Sweden) – Download
  • Use of Big Data for determining the demand for skilled labour (Lobardy Region in Italy) – Download
  • Regional innovation systems and sectoral image strategies as an umbrella for aligning VET and regional development strategies (Ústecký Region and Moravia-Silesia Region in the Czech Republic) – Download
  • Impulses arising from infrastructure projects (Hinkley Point nuclear power station in South-West England) – Download
  • Facilitation of cross-border cooperation structures (The Administrative District of Leer at the German-Dutch border) – Download
  • Role of LMI in the comprehensive skills and economic development strategies (Scotland in GB) – Download

 

Results/Publications

Open the Toolkit

LITERATURE REVIEW REPORT – REGIONAL

The Literature Review Report represents the initial element of VET-EDS Work Package 2 (Good Practice Research – Local and Regional) which focused on the identification and reporting of good practice from each of the partner countries as well as identifying the state of the art through a literature review. The work package includes the partner literature review and interviews that will support the research and help identify good practices. Reports are supported by interviews with forecasters, VET policymakers, economic development officers and LMI users (via the partner steering group). The VET-EDS partner’s literature reviews, and associated interviews, were summarised into this Literature Review Report. The important part of this report is each project partner report on regional observatory operation based on the agreed common structure as follows:

CONTEXT AND OBSERVATORY ENVIRONMENT

  • Description of the region where the observatory works
  • Population, demography and urbanisation
  • Description of region economy, education, labour market, key drivers and challenges for the region
  • Description of the region where the observatory works
  • Population, demography and urbanisation
  • Description of region economy, education, labour market, key drivers and challenges for the region
  • Economy
  • Education and Labour Market
  • Drivers and Challenges
  • Description of policies carried out within regions that have links to VET
  • VET policy overview and context
  • How the VET system is organized, managed, where the policy is made

THE OBSERVATORY AND ITS WORK

  • How the Observatory is financed, how it operates, who established it
  • What the Observatory does now and how this has changed over time
  • What kind of products, services, information is provided by the regional Observatory
  • What users work with Observatory outputs

IMPACT OF THE OBSERVATORY ON REGIONAL POLICY

The Literature Review Report comprises two main parts:

  • Summary part which consists of three main chapters (Context and Observatory environment, Observatory and its work, Impact of the Observatory)
  • Country reports describing local and regional practices in the partner countries (Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Netherlands, UK)

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LOCAL AND REGIONAL COMPENDIUM OF GOOD PRACTICE

The Local and regional compendium of good practice is one of the key output of the project Effective Forecasting as a mechanism for aligning VET and Economic Development Strategies (VED-EDS(. The purpose of the project is identification of the very best examples of effective VET Policy and economic development planning and to understand the differing ways that labour market and skills intelligence and measures has been used. Other regions and countries could adopt these practical methods and approaches to help the better linking VET policy to economic development strategy.

Each good practice selected by partners explores successful examples of how local and regional authorities/governments have aligned their VET policies with their local and regional economic development strategies and furthermore the potentially critical role that labour market forecasting has played in facilitating this alignment. Each good practice seeks to learn transferable lessons in both the practical aspects and benefits of aligning VET and economic development policy.

The Compendium brings altogether 40 examples from seven countries (Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom) collated by the project partners. These examples are described in two ways – shorter one as a “good practice” and more detailed one as a “case study” however, the structure is common. Each of the examples consists of

  • Title
  • Introduction (how this fits with aim of VET-EDS, why is it successful and a good practice)
  • Context and settings (economy, geography, nature of VET concerned, nature of the economic development)
  • Description (scale, type of VET policy, target groups, organisations involved and stakeholders, how is it organized, what worked and why, constraints)
  • Impact and replicability (how it has impacted on VET and economic developments and in what circumstances could it be replicated)
  • Summary
  • Contact details

Examples gathered and described in the Compendium represent wide range of approaches and tools aimed at support alignment of VET policy and economic development strategy. For the purpose of the Compendium, the examples have been divided into following key themes though several examples focus on more than one theme:

  • Matching the education with employers´ needs
  • Forecasting
  • Sector Specific Training
  • Integration of social excluded/immigrants into the labour market
  • Analysis

In compliance with the main purpose of the project, the most examples concentrate on the approaches to matching the education with employers´ needs.

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LITERATURE REVIEW REPORT – NATIONAL

The Literature Review Report represents the initial element of VET-EDS Work Package 4 (Good Practice Research – National) which is focused on the identification and reporting of good practice from each of the partner countries as well as identifying the state of the art through a literature review. The work package includes the partner literature review and interviews that will support the research and help identify good practices. Reports have been supported by interviews with forecasters, VET policymakers, economic development officers and LMI users (via the partner steering group). The VET-EDS partners’ literature reviews, and associated interviews, were summarised into this Literature Review Report.

The Literature Review Report comprises two main parts:

  • A summary which consists of three main sections (Chapter 1 focuses on background and national characteristics, Chapter 2 summarizes how LMI is provided and the linkages to the VET systems in the partner countries and Chapter 3 recapitulates the national reports reflections and analysis on how national experiences could be disseminated and could fit in to a toolkit)
  • Country reports describing the national VET-EDS systems in the partner countries (Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Netherlands, UK)

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COMPENDIUM OF NATIONAL GOOD PRACTICES

The Compendium of National Good Practices is the outcome 4 of the VET-EDS project (“Effective forecasting as a mechanism for aligning VET and Economic Development Strategies”). The essential objective of VET-EDS is to create a “toolkit… which will help labour market observatories [LMOs] to tailor their forecasting activities to the needs of VET actors and economic development audiences in their particular region or locality”. In pursuing this objective, the project draws from the knowledge and regional and national expertise of the project partners, which are LMOs and bodies from the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Through a number of standardised case study (longer, more in-depth studies) and good practice (shorter studies) reports, each partner has presented the most important examples of good practice which highlight a relationship between the forecasting activities of LMOs and economic development in general. These case studies and good practice reports have been carried out at both the regional and national level. In order to compile and analyse the numerous examples of good practice, which have been presented, a “Synthesis Report” has been produced at each level.

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COMPENDIUM OF NATIONAL AND REGIONAL CASE STUDIES

The compendium is a collection of all the Case Studies selected and analysed by the Partners of the project during the whole duration of it, in two stages: in the first stage of the project, the focus of the analysis was the regional/local level, and consequently also the Case Studies were sought and identified at this territorial level. During the second stage, the perspective was the National level: the partners had the possibility to explore also a different country for the choice of the Case Study to describe.

Each Case Study is a mini-report of 10 – 12 pages that allows subject experts (forecasters, etc.) and labour market analysis/practitioners to be able to understand the rationale, implications, reproducibility and day-to-day practices of the chosen examples.

The identification of the Case Studies was always made on the base of one criterion: the coherence with the goal of the project, i.e. the suggestion – by the production of the final Toolkit – of effective ways to connect the VET and the Economic Development System to generate a strong link in a virtuous cycle, also understanding the differing ways that labour market and skills intelligence and measures has been used. Other regions and countries could adopt these practical methods and approaches to help the better linking VET policy to economic development strategy.

At the beginning of the project, after the selection of the Good Practices at regional level, 5 main topics were identified to help the classification:

  1. Forecasting
  2. Matching the education with employers´ needs
  3. Sector Specific Training
  4. Integration of social excluded/immigrants into the labour market
  5. Monitoring &Analysis

Each category of this classification is represented by a number of case studies, all condensed in this report.

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EUROPEAN POLICY BRIEF – REGIONAL

Implications for Regional and Local Policymakers and Actors in Vocational Education & Training and Economic Development

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EUROPEAN POLICY BRIEF – NATIONAL

Policy Implications for National Actors in Vocational Education & Training and Economic Development

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